chapter  8
19 Pages

Translating Resistance

WithAmitava Kumar

The politics of form that allows the author to achieve this translation, this particular set of surprising juxtapositions, and to articulate what the author believes is the global relation of late capitalism belongs very specifically to poetry. The various truths of the local are placed in a global configuration that mimics—thereby making visible—the performance of late capitalism. Writing is a social practice and hence irregular in its effects. As a social practice, it is performed by different agents occupying diverse positions along a variety of material grids. The British colonizers in India did not deem poetry, and certainly not the poetry written by Indians, to be of much value. In his famous tract, The History of British India, James Mill condemned in one dismissive stroke both poetry and Indian culture.